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PragmatIC Semiconductor leads project to increase the value of plastic waste

  • Date 2 Aug 2021

PragmatIC Semiconductor, a world leader in flexible electronics, is delighted to announce that it is working on an Innovate UK, Manufacturing Made Smarter project to increase the quality of plastic recyclate. In the project, code-named SORT‑IT, packaging will be given unique digital IDs to facilitate the tracking and separation of packaging waste in a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).

Food and drink packaging manufacturers are struggling to secure enough high-quality, Food Grade PET recyclate (FGPET) to meet their statutory targets for recycled content[i]. This is because even in countries with a good collection infrastructure, like the UK, where household recycling schemes now capture about 45% of municipal waste[ii], the co-mingled nature of the recovered material makes it very difficult to separate the FGPET from other plastics. This results in, at best, downcycling of valuable FGPET, most often to fibre; or in the worse case, losing it to landfill. With the projected demand for rFGPET (recycled FGPET) outstripping present supply[iii], SORT-IT is one of a number of initiatives to increase capture of this material, and if successful this could lead to MRFs being able to grade their plastic output and appropriately price the different bundles efficiently.

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